Tunisia's Islamists re-elect Ghannouchi as Ennahda Party chief

News article, posted 07.17.2012, from Tunisia, in:
Tunisia's Islamists re-elect Ghannouchi as Ennahda Party chief (Photo: Reuters)

Tunisia's ruling Ennahda has re-elected Rachid Ghannouchi to lead the moderate Islamist party for another two years, sources said on Monday, an outcome that could go some way to reassuring secularists worried about a slide into religious government.

One Ennahda source close to Ghannouchi said he had taken more than 70 percent of the vote at the party's first public congress that began on Thursday.

Banned under Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who was toppled last year in mass protests that sparked the Arab Spring, Ennahda won the most seats in elections to a constituent assembly in October and formed a government in coalition with two secular parties.

Ennahda has since come under pressure from both hardline Salafi Muslims, calling for the introduction of Islamic law, and secular opposition parties.